Mental health patients' experiences of being misunderstood
Mental health patients describe “being understood” as an experience that evokes feelings of importance, worthiness, and empowerment. However, the experience of “being misunderstood” is more prevalent in patients’ relationships with health care providers. Negative consequences such as vulnerability, dehumanization, and frustration reveal that being misunderstood has the potential to damage or destroy therapeutic relationships.
Gaillard, L.M., Shattell, M.M., & Thomas, S.P. (2009). Mental health patients’ experiences of being misunderstood. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 15, 191-199.